New Jersey couples who wish to end their marriage have two options based on their situation: contested or uncontested divorce. This is how these different kinds compare and what to expect from both.
Understanding contested divorce
A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot agree on all the terms of their split. They may not even agree on wanting the divorce in the first place. Many married couples who have a history of disagreements or worse end up needing to get a contested divorce. Usually, sources of contention include property division, alimony, child custody and child support.
When it is impossible for spouses to negotiate all the terms, a contested divorce takes the form of a traditional court proceeding. Each party has the opportunity to argue their side in front of a judge and present evidence. Ultimately, the judge decides on all matters of the divorce.
Uncontested divorce explained
When married couples agree on all or mostly all of the terms of their divorce, it’s known as an uncontested divorce. They are willing to work together and compromise to reach a satisfactory middle ground on anything they’re not immediately able to agree on. Parties can choose to resolve things with divorce mediation, arbitration or collaborative divorce. All of these options allow for a faster and easier process.
Mediation is a popular means to get an uncontested divorce because it lets the former couple take control of the proceedings. A third-party mediator is there to help both spouses come to a conclusion that works for both of them but doesn’t take sides as their position is neutral.
Couples who are planning to call it quits on their marriage need to weigh out their options to determine whether a contested or uncontested divorce is more appropriate for them. Certain situations make one more appropriate than the other.